On Saturday night, Fighters Only was able to put a few questions to UFC president Dana White after the FUEL 7 event had concluded at London’s Wembley Arena.
One of them concerned Josh Barnett, who had turned down an offer to fight in the heavyweight division just a few days before.
White wasn’t perturbed by the refusal; he said that Barnett is “his own man” who tends to “fly by the seat of his pants” and has his own ideas about his career.
The UFC president also revealed that Barnett had been offered former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos as his first opponent of the new contract.
A win would have put Barnett “in the mix”, as White was fond of saying until recently, but now it appears the mix will elude him altogether.
Barnett has since put out a statement.
"I was excited to fight [Dos Santos]. I thought he was a very favorable matchup for me, but Zuffa was unwilling to give me something that they gave Eddie Alvarez. No disrespect to Eddie, but I felt it was fair to give it to me as well.”
The ‘something’ wasn’t specified but is very likely to be ‘a pay-per-view sales cut’. Alvarez, the former Bellator FC lightweight champion, probably got offered this because it aided the UFC’s offer against Bellator.
Barnett has no such bargaining chip. Strikeforce has gone under and he is without a home. The UFC doesn’t have to bid against anyone for his services and so the offer he has been made may well be of the ‘take it or leave it’ variety.